Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Ben Skirvin

Three Reasons Universities Aren't Worried About 'Credit Creep'

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubber says legislation designed to limit required credit hours to 120 per degree will save students money. Universities aren't as convinced.

Governor Mitch Daniels has been touting a bill working its way through the Indiana State General Assembly which would limit the number of credit hours required to graduate from a public university to 120 — 15 credits per semester for eight semesters. The idea is to lower the cost of education by getting students out of college within four years of enrolling.

Typically colleges and universities don’t like this kind of legislative interference in the daily and yearly routine of running a school. But in this case, university officials don’t seem too concerned. One official at Purdue University said he  actually worked with the Commission on Higher Education to draft the legislation.

So what gives? Why are schools backing a bill which seems to limit the amount of programming offered to students?

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Indiana University Ponders Increase In Dorm Fees

IU Trustee Tom Reilly says increased dorm fees would be partially used to finance current and future housing improvements

The cost of living on an Indiana University campus could soon increase under a plan discussed at today’s Board of Trustees meeting in Indianapolis.

According to the proposal, Bloomington students in the least expensive dorms are likely to see the biggest rate increases- with a hike of as much 8 percent over last year.  That translates to an annual jump of $381 for some students

IU Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald says the proposed rate changes are based on the supply and demand of housing between campuses.

“We have far excess demand of what we are able to meet. So we went with a high rate,” says Theobald.

Trustee Tom Reilly says Indiana University would likely reinvest the money from the increases back into housing.

“We have to be aware that we are financing these new improvements and additions with this money,” says Reilly. Continue Reading

The Nostalgia Of High School Basketball

Star Skirvin

Brown County High School Boys Basketball Coach Roger Fleetwood has spent four decades coaching basketball, most of those under the old single-class tournament system.

It’s been more than a decade since all of the boys high school basketball teams in Indiana fought for the honor of being crowned the state’s only champion, but there’s talk now of returning to a single-class high school basketball tournament.

The Indiana High School Athletics Association has agreed to reopen the debate under pressure from the legislature and they’re turning directly to fans for input.

Next to the Indianapolis 500, high school basketball is one of the best-known Hoosier traditions outside of Indiana. When the IHSAA holds public meetings meets in April to discuss the issue, they’ll be talking about more than a procedural change. They’ll be debating the future of an Indiana institution.

But nostalgia may run higher than support when it comes to “Hoosier Hysteria.” Continue Reading

Department of Education Pressures Schools To Rethink And Broaden Special Education Category

New guidance from the U.S. Department of Education’s office for civil rights warns school districts that the way they define which students should get special services under federal disability laws may not be broad enough.
The guidance, along with a detailed list of questions and answers issued in late January, clarifies district responsibilities under amendments in effect since 2009 that were passed to broaden the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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How iPads Are Finding Footing In The Indiana E-Textbook Market


Apple announces its new digital textbooks at the Guggenheim in New York.

A number of Indiana schools have invested in bulk purchasing iPad’s for students, often with the help of state or federal grants. Indiana University-Bloomington has a number of iPad-specific projects, including a class that focuses on creating app-based “textbooks” for the iOS platform.

Big name textbook publishers like Pearson and McGraw-Hill have also dived into iPad textbook world with iBook releases of many of their main products.

All of this seems to point to Mac’s present and likely future domination of the e-textbook market, but hold on…

The School’s Perspective?

The Richland Bean Blossom Community School Corporation recently used a state technology grant to purchase iPads for all of the corporations 8th graders. The platform was chosen after teachers were allowed to experiment with a variety of options. Surprisingly, it was not the iPad’s slick design, touchscreen controls, or nifty app-based learning tools that won over educators.

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Brain Drain In Indiana: The Facts And Opinions

IU School of Medicine

In some Indiana counties, as many as 75 percent of all college students leave Indiana after graduation.

It’s about 2 p.m. and Purdue student Matthew Spiller is listening to a lecture on immunology.

According to a study from Indiana University published earlier this year, about 50 percent of the people in his class will leave the state after they graduate.

It’s a problem experienced at all of Indiana’s public universities. The higher a student’s level of education, the more likely the student is to move away from the state after graduation. In fact, only about 16 percent of PhD recipients remain in Indiana’s workforce one year after graduation.

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Why Indiana's Most Educated Students Are Leaving The State

Indiana University

David Audretsch studies economic development with Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Brain drain” is a serious problem in Indiana. That’s one of the main findings of an Indiana University report issued earlier this month which found nearly 40 percent of all students who graduated from a public university in Indiana in 2000 had departed the state by 2005.

This has raised concerns that Indiana’s public colleges and universities may subsidizing research and employment centers in other states like North Carolina, Texas, and California.

StateImpact sat down with Indiana University professor of economic development David Audretsch to discuss why well-educated workers leave the state and what can done to keep these employees in Indiana. Continue Reading

"Special Educators Borrow From Brain Studies"

Ivymount is one of a growing number of schools trying to adapt techniques based on brain research to special education settings, a practice that many teachers and parents may not have even envisioned a few years ago. While some educators remain skeptical, brain research is slowly migrating from the lab into the classroom, both in predicting which students may have learning difficulties and intervening to help students diagnosed with disabilities.

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Interactive Map: Where Are All Of The Graduates Going? Brain Drain In Indiana

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Graduates at Indiana University's winter commencement ceremonies at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

If Indiana’s public universities are engines of the state’s economy, the fuel doesn’t always stay here.

One in three graduates from Indiana’s public colleges left the state — and the ones with the most advanced degrees were the most likely to leave — according to a study from Indiana University and the Indiana Workforce Intelligence System. The report tracked the payroll records of students who graduated in 2000 with various levels of education to determine what percent remained in the state after five years in the workforce.

“These figures document a significant net loss of human capital from the state,” the study’s authors write.

The highest rates of “brain drain” can be found in sparsely populated rural areas like Crawford and Floyd County. In some cases, fewer than a quarter of students originating from these communities remained in the state after receiving a post secondary credential. The study concludes higher levels of education equate to a lower likelihood of staying in the state and remaining in the workforce after graduation.

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What A Mitt Romney Candidacy Means For Indiana Education


Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has repeatedly complimented President Obama on several education initiatives put forward in recent years.

According to political monitoring website, Real Clear Politics, Mitt Romney currently leads in all of the most recent Republican presidential primary polls by a margin of as much as 15 percent. With this in mind, StateImpact Indiana has decided to take a closer look at Romney’s education platform.

Official Platform

Romney’s official campaign website only once indirectly touches on the issue of education under a subheading of Romney’s jobs platform.

Retraining Workers

Mitt Romney will approach retraining policy with a conservative mindset that recognizes it as an area where the federal government is particularly ill-equipped to succeed. Retraining efforts must be founded upon a partnership that brings together the states and the private sector.

Other than this minor mention, there are no plans or details offered.

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